1. What is Muay Thai/Kickboxing?
Muay Thai (otherwise known as Thailand Style Kickboxing) is one of the standing fighting cornerstones of the Mixed Martial Arts skill set. It originated in ancient Thailand and was developed for use by Thai soldiers to use in hand to hand combat when they no longer had weapons. This ancient standup fighting style uses a system of lethal striking and devastating kickboxing to attack a standing opponent with fists, elbows, knees and feet.
2. Why You Must Know Muay Thai/Kickboxing
All fights take place 1) standing, 2) on the ground and/or 3) during transitions between standing and the ground. Muay Thai is the most effective standup fighting style in the world today because 1) its techniques have developed over hundreds of years in actual military combat, and 2) its training and conditioning programs are demanding and intense.
Muay Thai is known as the “Science of Eight Limbs” because its students are taught how to brutally attack and defend with their hands, elbows, knees and feet. This eight point system of attack and defense makes Muay Thai a vastly superior fighting style compared with other standup fighting arts using only 2 points of attack/defense (eg boxing which uses only the 2 hands) and 4 points of attack/defense (eg Tae Kwon Do which only uses hands and feet).
Muay Thai’s use of these additional points of attack/defense (elbows and knees) literally gives Muay Thai fighters 4 – 6 more weapons in their arsenal. This weapon superiority makes Muay Thai devastating in hand to hand combat.
Virtually all experienced Mixed Marital Arts fighters around the world train in Muay Thai. If you watch any top level Mixed Martial Arts event such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, you will see the best fighters using Muay Thai, e.g., Anderson Silva, George St. Pierre, Lyoto Machida, BJ Penn, Urijah Faber, Jose Aldo, Jon “Bones” Jones and Shogun Rua.
3. Why Yamane Championship Muay Thai/Kickboxing
Because Muay Thai/Kickboxing is from Thailand, it does not have any homegrown roots in the United States. Therefore the best Muay Thai/Kickboxing training facilities in the world come from Thailand. Sityodtong is among the handful of elite Muay Thai/Kickboxing training camps in Thailand. Sityodtong’s reputation for training and producing World Champions is legendary.
Sityodtong Los Angeles is the United States West Coast Representative of Sityodtong of Thailand. Walter Michalowski is the owner of Sityodtong Los Angeles and its Kru (Head Coach). Walter’s lighting fast striking and kicking techniques must be seen to be believed. His students watch in awe everyday as he teaches the skills that have made him a Muay Thai/Kickboxing World Champion with titles that include:
• 3x Champion United World Muay Thai/Kickboxing Junior Middle Weight
• 2x Champion United World Muay Thai/Kickboxing Middle Weight
• Champion International Muay Thai/Kickboxing Middle Weight
Under Walter’s guidance, Sityodtong of Los Angeles has proudly upheld Sityodtong of Thailand’s reputation by continuing to produce an endless parade of Champion Muay Thai fighters, the most recent of which include Sinahy Luna-Champion of International Fight Showdown, Andy Lazarit- Champion of Muay Thai Extravaganza and Laban Spicer-Champion of the Ultimate Warrior.
Niall had the unbelievable opportunity to train for 3 years at Sityodtong Los Angeles, and had the privilege to participate in Walter’s phenomenal training program, as well as workout with his stable of Champion Muay Thai/Kickboxing fighters. Niall now wants to share the essential skills he has learned from Walter Michalowski and his Championship training program.
4. Typical Muay Thai/Kickboxing Practice
Our Muay Thai/Kickboxing class is taught in a variety of formats. Here is an example of a typical class so you have an idea of what to expect:
Warm-ups and Drills – Warm-ups are specific to Muay Thai/Kickboxing and are intended to loosen and warm-up the major muscle groups that will be used in the Muay Thai/Kickboxing practice session. Drills specific to Muay Thai/Kickboxing skills are practiced to develop muscle memory through properly phased repetitions.
Techniques and Padding Session – proper striking and kicking techniques are taught. Students are allowed to practice these techniques with a training partner who is holding special Muay Thai/Kickboxing safety pads.
Conditioning – is designed to improve muscle strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness of all students.
Live Sparring – is only permitted with instructor’s express permission. Safety gear is mandatory.
5. Question and Answers
A. Question: I am really interested in taking Muay Thai/Kickboxing, but I am afraid of the punching and kicking it uses. Will it be safe?
Answer: Yes. We encourage every student to pursue their passions/interests and to stomp on their fears, so your interest is great! Our Muay Thai Kickboxing program emphasizes safety by requiring the use of proper safety equipment, e.g., padded gloves, hand-wraps, hand and forearm pads, leg pads, stomach pads, etc. the use of which depends upon the techniques being practiced and the skill level of the class. All classes are supervised and controlled, and most importantly, a student is always free to limit their participation in any portion of the class. For example, you may participate in only the Warm-up and Drills and Conditioning, and you may skip the Techniques and/or Pad Practice session.
B. Question: Is there physical contact in your Muay Thai/Kickboxing Program?
Answer: Yes. In the Technique session slow motion contact is necessary to demonstrate proper techniques. In the Pad Practice session there is controlled contact in which students strike/kick safety pads held by another student. There is NEVER any body upon body impact in any of the classes. Students are completely free to set both the pace and intensity of these sessions to a level they find comfortable.
C. Question: I am concerned I am I too old to participate?
Answer: If you are in good health and able to freely participate in most recreational sports, e.g., jogging, swimming, a general fitness class, you should be able to participate. You are only as old as you feel. Give yourself a chance to feel as young as you can. This being said, the minimal level of physical exertion will be substantially greater than that of a generic aerobics class.
D. Question: I don’t have any Martial Arts/Muay Thai/Kickboxing experience. Does this matter?
Answer: No. We prefer it. It is easier to teach proper fundamentals to someone without any experience than it is to correct improper technique.
E. Question: Is there specific gear and/or clothing required for the Muay Thai/Kickboxing class?
Answer: Yes. You will need: 1) Muay Thai shorts or Mixed Martial Arts shorts. (Normal gym shorts are cut in a fashion that restricts kicking ability and therefore makes it difficult to practice kicks correctly), 2) Muay Thai gloves, 3) hand-wraps, and 4) water bottle and water.
F. Question: I see some students in the Muay Thai/Kickboxing class sparring together. I don’t want to do this. May I still take the class?
Answer: Yes. In fact, beginners aren’t allowed to spar. Students are only allowed to spar after they have reached an advanced skill level and then only with the express permission of the instructor.
G. Question: May women join the Muay Thai/Kickboxing class?
Answer: Absolutely! We have found that Muay Thai/Kickboxing is the most popular fight style class amongst women and they tend to be really good at it!
H. Question: Are shoes worn?
Answer: No. All training is performed barefoot without any footwear.